Japanese Emperor’s Gift to Great Sultan Abdul Hamid II

Japanese Emperor’s samurai armor gift to Sultan Abdul Hamid on display at Istanbul museum. The artifacts are open to visitors every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the exception of Monday.

A suit of exquisite Japanese body armor and a number of other items, that are said to have been presented to Sultan Abdul Hamid II by Japanese Emperor Meiji, are on display for the very first time at the Palace Collections Museum, in Istanbul’s Beşiktaş district.

Gifts that said to have been presented to Sultan Abdul Hamid II by Japanese Emperor Meiji, are on display for the very first time for the Palace Collections Museum, in Istanbul’s Besiktas district. Gift’s are known as a suit of exquisite Japanese body armor, a sword and a number of other items.

Japanese Emperor's Gift to Great Sultan Abdul Hamid II

This meeting between Prince Komatsu and Ottoman officials was considered to mark a turning point in Ottoman-Japanese relations. Prince Komatsu, nephew of Emperor Meiji, and his wife visited the Sultan at Yıldız Palace as part of their travels across Europe. Emperor Meiji is reported to have been very pleased about the unofficial visit, in which the Japanese delegation was presented with Ottoman medals of various rank, returning the honor by sending Abdul Hamid II a suit of armor named “The Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum”, which is considered the greatest order of Japan. The backplates of the outfit are emblazoned with the phrases, “The flag brings the victory to the army!” and “The flag increases the glory of the army!” on it’s back.

Güller Karahüseyin, director of the museum, presented various information about the artifacts, saying that they were actually being stored in Topkapı Palace. According to Karahüseyin, the body armor dates back to the 1600s and belongs to the legendary Samurai warriors. “This armor includes a shield, a sword, and a flag and is said to have been used in combat. There is also a dent on it that must have occurred during a battle,” Karahüseyin said. This body armor was brought to the Ottoman Empire and presented to Sultan Abdul Hamid II in 1892.

Japanese Emperor's Gift to Great Sultan Abdul Hamid II

Another gift is the Chrysanthemum Order. Upon the welcoming of the Japanese emperor’s nephew and his wife during their unofficial visit to Sultan Abdul Hamid II, the emperor sent this insignia accompanied by a letter as a token of his satisfaction with this visit. Furthermore, the museum has the model of a Japanese shrine gifted to Sultan Abdul Hamid II to celebrate the 25th year of his reign. It has human figures of religious characters and embodies the fine craftsmanship of the Far East, Karahüseyin said.

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